Come, Praise the LORD, My Soul

Come, praise the LORD, my soul

Versifier: Helen Otte (1986)
Tune: GENEVAN 103
Published in 1 hymnal

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Versifier: Helen Otte

Helen Ann (Brink) Otte Walter (b. Grand Rapids, MI, 1931) versified this psalm in 1982 for the Psalter Hymnal. She received her education at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, and has worked as a teacher, proofreader, and librarian. She was a member of the Poets' Workshop that worked with the revision committee to prepare psalm versifications for the 1987 Psalter Hymnal. After her first husband died and she remarried, she remained active as a freelance writer, especially of children's stories and dramas, some of which have been published in Reformed Worship under the name Helen Walter. Bert Polman Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Come, praise the LORD, my soul
Title: Come, Praise the LORD, My Soul
Versifier: Helen Otte (1986)
Language: English
Copyright: Text and harmonization © 1987, CRC Publications


A call to all creation to praise the LORD for his boundless compassion to his people as sinners and mortals.

Scripture References:
st. 1 = vv. 1-5
st. 2 = vv. 6-10
st. 3 = vv. 11-14
st. 4 = vv.15-18
st. 5 = vv. 19-22

A hymn to God's love and compassion, Psalm 103 is a carefully crafted song. Not only is it composed of twenty-two lines, the number of letters in the Hebrew alphabet, but its opening and closing calls to praise (vv. 1-5, 20-22; st. 1,5) also frame a uniquely structured center (vv. 6-19).

Six verses honor God's compassionate and forgiving grace toward the Israelites as sinners (vv. 7-12; st. 2¬3), and six verses celebrate God's everlasting love for these chosen people, whose "days are like grass" (vv. 13-18; st. 3-4). Further framing this exposition of God's love are two verses (6, 19) that proclaim God's righteousness and justice, upon which the LORD has established his throne in heaven so that his kingdom rules over all. Moreover, according to the principle of describing the outer limits of something in order to refer to its whole (as one refers to a whole tree by speaking of its fruit above and its roots below, cf. Amos 2:9), the psalmist's opening call to "my soul" to praise the LORD and the closing call on God's angels to do the same invites all creation to praise its Maker and King.

Helen Otte (PHH 17) versified this psalm in 1986 for the Psalter Hymnal. Other settings of Psalm 103 are at 297, 475, 583, and 627.

Liturgical Use:
Covenant renewal/profession of faith services; conclusion of the Lord's Supper; Christian worship focusing on illness or other distresses that emphasize the frailty of human life; worship focusing on God's love and compassion.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook



GENEVAN 103 was first published in 1539 in Strasbourg, where Calvin published a small collection of nineteen psalms. Howard Slenk (PHH 3) harmonized the tune in 1985. Psalm 103 is a favorite song in the Dutch Reformed tradition, partially because of its textual content, of course, but also because i…

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Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #103
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Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #103

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